Monday, October 31, 2011


Inspiration comes from many directions thus motivating us to achieve better results in our everyday life ! Over several years I have enjoyed visiting “ ”

whose blog started whilst his life was in turmoil and after the loss of his wife Susan in the recent years has turned into an inspirational journey that has raised an estimated $us 3 m for a variety of causes !

Today he has followed through on a commitment made in march with the pre release of his first of three books . Released in good humour it offers various options in price relating to a person’s budget and desire to personalise the book .

Judging by the quality of the Blog posts over the years it will be a sellout ! Pre order by 10th November or get trampled in the rush ! These two photos would fit in well with some of the topics that he has raised in the blogs I have recently read .

In my early life I never contemplated the possibility that I would arrive in my 67th year in good health but with no income . Along the way I have had both success and failures so it will come as no surprise to hear that like so many I got horribly burnt by the collapse of the “ financial markets ” in 2008 ! So I am happy to see the “#OWS ” movement flourish in all parts of the world . Dismayed to see so many countries forget the “ Right of Free Speech “ that democracies afford us .

Friday I was driving some Polish visitors from Innsbruck Airport to their destination in Hintertux where they will spend the week skiing . Their desire to visit the centre of Innsbruck to have a look around brought us to the square where the “ Occupy Innsbruck ” was a few Saturdays before . Being a paved area I was not surprised to find no tents in view .

Parking on a street adjacent to this square , the visitors went walkabout whilst I waited with the vehicle . Not knowing how long these people would be I stayed with the vehicle . When a traffic warden ( not sure what you would call these subcontract employees ) came by she said nothing but looked the vehicle over . Later she returned and said I need a ticket . Not having coins I was unable to feed the section ticket dispenser and so I showed her the Euro50 note that was all I had with me . Having been out on the bike earlier I had left my coins and small notes in the cycle jacket . She then pointed to the bank so off I went and returned to find that this miserable baggage had put a ticket on the vehicle .

Normally I drive a UK registered car so as the vehicle was sign written by the owners with Austrian reg plates I chased down the road and confronted her . Being a small untidy looking woman she went to “ Nicht Verstehen ( don‘t understand)” several times with an ugly grin on her untidy visage . Several passersby told me that she was known locally for this sneaky behaviour . They said that she is responsible for local motorists avoiding doing business in that area and so those businesses have suffered .

After these comments I spoke with the owners of several empty shops and they also were of the opinion that this behaviour has impacted their shops . At 1500hrs of a Friday afternoon you would expect to see the street busy with passersby and people in those shops . Guess there must have been a reason for there being few people in the street on a bright sunny afternoon in the centre of this thriving City ?

Tirol Tourism spends large amounts of money to attract people to Innsbruck and the surrounds but this Euro21 ticket will guarantee that they get publicity ! Guess they are desperate to keep vehicles out of the city so I will not be carting people there any time soon . As regards the Junior Olympics in January I will not now attend and if the ticket is not cancelled I will regrettably recover the bike on loan to an Austrian Para Athlete ! Living on my savings is hard enough without “legalised Pickpocketing ”!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Long may it last , but alas the radio says snow is falling again to the west in Switzerland . More than a week ago I thought that that Friday’s weather that became worse during the weekend was the end of the Indian Summer . Luckily there were opportunities to ride for an hour or two between showers so when the sun broke through on the following Tuesday I had not lost too much condition . Since Tuesday we have had lower temperatures and last Sunday I had to resort to longs for my legs after all week with just a long sleeved shirt to compensate for the lower temperature .

Monday was frosty so leaving the house and getting the chores done led me to go out again after an early lunch and head up the 4 ½ mile climb to the Achensee Lake and though it is a busy road generally drivers behave as they head up the hill . This route runs north from the Zillertal to the German border and thence Munich . Most of the climb I was able to hold 39 on 14 and was feeling quite pleased with my pace .

I could hear a truck behind me ease it’s speed as we approached a right turning bend in the road but was surprised to hear it try to speed up whilst I could not see if the road was clear , obviously the driver was going to chance to luck as he moved over the central line in an area where passing is not allowed , cyclists don’t count , do they ? He was still just behind me when another truck coming down the hill appeared and realising there was danger slammed on the brakes laying down rubber for about ten metres . The brakes were uneven as you could see the rear end waggle and if it had been a semi one wonders if there would have been a more serious problem .

As the following truck passed me , he leaned on his klaxon/horn to display his displeasure about his own bad behaviour which he no doubt felt I had caused . Bau-Beton are a largish Concrete supplier in this area of Austria so I continued through the plateau until I came to the building site . During the time I checked out a few other areas on the lookout for cranes which indicate building sites . When I found the site manager I described what had taken place and gave him the choice , either phone the company or I could call the Polizei to the site since the concrete truck was still awaiting it’s turn to deliver the contents to the “ pour ” that was taking place . The manager phoned the company and reported the incident but who knows what will be done if anything !

Often think that Truck drivers are short sighted or are of the “ I am bigger than you mentality ” but riding back from Worgl after riding towards Kufstein area yesterday I was alone on a newly built “ bypass road ” of Worgl when a “ ” Semi trailer decided to leave private premises and head out on to the road going in the same direction as myself but I did not slow down so as I came up to the rear of the truck I saw that he had closed the road to me thus had to brake from about 35-40kph to about 20ish . So I had to back off from the rhs of the truck then go around the rear and ride up the lhs side as he gradually increased his speed . He was somewhat surprised to hear me banging on his door and wound down the window and complained that I was in his way and “ so what I could have waited “!

Did he see me ? You betcha ! Did he care ? Only for about as long as it took to get over my reminding him that he was a dummy !

Earlier on tuesday as I rode out of Kramsach I came up on Silvio , an inhabitant of Ashau in the Ziller whom I find training regularly over the years . He reported that he did the Otztal Marathon this year in 8 1/2hrs , at a pretty good average speed and that he also did a 24hr at 30 kph ! That he did 720km in 24 hrs means he would have been doing 35 to 40ish in the early part of the event ! Not bad for a guy that stands less than most people’s shoulder in height and races at 40 kilo in weight . Having things to do in Worgl I parted company and when after lunch I was on my way to Mayrhofen I found him once again as he was using up what had remained of the 5hr ride he had decided to allocate for that day .

Time I got on the bike for today now that the temperature has warmed up a little and the frost is off the grass !

Sunday, October 16, 2011

LANCE , CNF’s Saturday night FEVER !

Mushroom Farmers are working overtime on CNF and it is amusing that that whilst “ joe Public ” spends Saturday night enjoying their leisure , these people are whipping themselves into a lather whilst awaiting the announcement of the 2012 routes of the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France !

Take a look at this thread that some speculate will reach “ DEFCON 5 ” for “Lance’s Lawyers ” on Tuesday or Wednesday next week !

Can you believe that this debate has reached such a point that so many people gave up their Saturday night to participate ? I remember seeing an item that mentioned 666 as a “ historic ” number only a short while ago .

One thing that disturbs me is that there was reference to a “ Stadium ” that was “ named “ LiveSTRONG ” and are reportedly paying “ Royalties ” to “ LiveSTRONG ” and there was a suggestion that the “ Flinders Site ” in Sth Australia may be involved in the same type of deal ? As I follow @PremierMikeRann I am aware of his disclosure of many items about this project and his pending retirement from the Premiership of Sth Australia . Has some of the speculation that is rife in CNF a grain of Truth ? Lance did not arrive in Sth Australia as a normal Bike Racer , he went there as a result of “ arrangements ” that included setting up “ Flinders Centre ” and received a “Fee ” for his participation in a variety of events whilst in Sth Australia .

Speculation revolves around who the recipient was of this “ fee ” , surely the Sth Aust. Government meant the Fee to go to “ LiveSTRONG ” , didn’t they ? Some reports are indicating that it was treated as “ Personal Income ” by Lance ! Reports of annual income received by “Lance ” for various “Sponsorships ” run to $20 M each year ! Not a huge sum compared to that being received by other “ Famous US Sports Stars ” or members of the British Football Premier League !

Last week I did a “ Tourdafrance.blogspot ” posts on the “ Speculation ” surrounding the proposed “ GIRO and TDF routes ” announcements but they appear to have received little interest . Will the actual announcements be of interest OR will next week be overshadowed by matters that CNF’s “ Mushroom Farmers are desperately hoping to see eventuate ?


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

KING CAV will ride the SKY in 2012



Delighted to read that “ King Cav ” is going to ride for Team Sky in 2012 . So much speculation in the last weeks about which team and which “ Sponsors ” will be involved in the deal .

My source was “ Podium Café ” and here is the link :

Cav is a popular Racer with a Huge Future and so far all that is missing in his career are the Olympic Medals that he had hoped for in Beijing !

More importantly is that Berny Eisel will be with Sky to help build the Train that has been a hallmark of the success of HTC team these pass several years . Cav can win by himself as Robbie Mc Ewen was in the habit of doing but there is something special about watching the various trains fighting to get their man in place to WIN on the line . Gossy , Wilson and others from the HTC team train will of course be working hard to disrupt the continual success of Cav’s sprints . Andre Greipel must be heaving a sigh of relief that “ Specialised ” did not convince Mark to join the Quickstep / Lotto team so as to have him continue riding their bikes .

Will Sky have King Cav at the Tour Down Under must be a key question for the media at present as they will be looking to see the results of Cav wearing the “ Rainbow Jersey ” which tends to have been a jinx for the wearer in past seasons . So many of those wearing it have had difficult seasons and then enjoyed success when it passed on to the next Racer .

Have waited until now to offer congrats to Mark on his winning the “ World Champs ” since I felt certain that he and the British team regarded the result as a certainty barring accident or injury .

Now as another of my favourite Bloggers has pointed out recently we are less than 100 days from the start of the TDU !

#O W S : Bloomberg reads Constitution ?

Sunday, October 9, 2011


As time passes I am getting more proficient with posting the photos that I have been able to make in recent months . Regardless of what I do the Broadband limits my access to Blogger and so I post mostly without photos sometimes through Posterous that hits all my social media access points and several of the blogs . I go back later and insert photos where possible . At first it seems that there were problems with the MB size of the photos but in recent posts I have noticed that only KB size photos are being posted . How that came about is a mystery to me since I don’t recall adjusting anything on the camera or computer .

Recent weeks I have noticed that collecting the “ Blogger Statistics “ for the 6 blogs has gone from about 1 ½ MB to in excess of 5MB each day . Even opening a blog to make a post has become a major drain of MB’s , trying to limit daily use to 30mb so as to meet the Gigabyte limit has become problematic . Has anyone else noticed this phenomena and is there a reason ?

NetWorx is a program I use to identify Broadband usage since the first months because my broadband supplier, BOB , an offshoot of the main Austrian Broadband provider , A 1 , in the first month charged me for in excess of 6 Gigabytes , when I had used less than One GB for that period . Regardless of the written record I kept they insisted they were right and refused to reimburse the excess charges ! The monies are taken direct from my bank account without referral to me so there was no chance to query any excesses before deduction of their charges . Corporations continue to treat the individual as beneath their dignity to answer or satisfy !

OccupyWallStreet will get a few to sit up and listen and Barack Obama is now answering some of the queries directed towards his administration . Each country has it’s share of Conniving and thieving Corporations and here in Austria there are facilities for dealing with the Banking System although it is orientated to protecting their constituent Banks rather than solving the issues of “ disgruntled clients” such as myself .

Should I not hear back from the Banking Commission by this weekend I will have the pleasure of informing all how they can react to the complacency of the “ Banking Fatcats ” that behave as though they are doing the individual a favour when they take your money at the counter . Here in Austria there are initiatives to assist those who are generally too poor to have a bank account , good to see when you consider that there are more “ Squirreled monies ” in Austria than in Switzerland according to a recent report on the FM4 , a part of the ORF , the National Broadcaster .

When the sum of the Blogs passed 55k , I had a look at where the views were coming from and saw that most continents were represented . So as not to bore I will list the major sum totals :

USA …34.2 k , UK…4.4 k , Aus…2.8 k , Can…1.9 k , Rus…1.1k , Ger…1.0 k , Fra…0.6 k , Swe…0.5 , Ned…0.4 k , Ukr…0.3 k ,

Thanks to all for taking the time to visit , please encourage your friend to visit , but I wish people would take the time to add their comments since this is a major benefit of blogging that I feel I am missing and feedback can be worthwhile to ALL !

Saturday, October 8, 2011


@PremierMikeRann’s tweet about Gough Whitlam triggered memories of the events of Nov 11th 1975 when Gough’s Government was sacked by Sir John Kerr , the then Governor General who was the Queen‘Representative in Australia ! At that time I was working for NCR in North Sydney and being driven north on the “ CoatHanger ” by one of my bosses after a meeting in the city . Just before midday the “ Breaking News ” announced the outcome of Gough’s meeting that morning at Government House in Canberra and of course there was the recording of his voice saying “ God Save the Queen because nothing will save the Governor General ”

Naturally the Media went ballistic and even more so when Malcolm Fraser was asked to take over in interim Government whilst the House of Representatives was sent to the country in preparation for a general election . The Coalition of Liberals and Country Party went on to win the Election thus returning the country to Conservative Government and some would say stability . Later Bob Hawke would be elected leader of the Labour Party but that is a story for another time and place .

In other blogs I have mentioned meeting Billy Mc Mahon on the Squash court in the late 60’s whilst he was treasurer in John Gorton’s cabinet . The guy I was waiting to play squash with was together with his brother the founders of a Rubbish Compacting business called “ Big Foot ” . Harvey was kind enough to loan me his Bob Lexen designed yacht , “ Big Foot ” , moored in Rose Bay on the Sydney Harbour during the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic period .

Harvey sailed from Sydney with others to Scandinavia some years later , he advised that he was arriving but after several weeks of travelling around arrived in Brighton , UK whilst I was tied up with a tour in the North of England . I only discovered the day he was to fly out how short his visit was to be . His step daughter was living in Brighton at that time so of course family comes first and since returning to Sydney he has retired and moved down the South Coast to his farm . Regretfully I have lost contact as emails to his family seem to have failed either to reach him or he like another friend , that I remain in touch with by occasional phone call has no internet access .

Brian Brown was the veritable personification of “ Mr NCR ” and I had the pleasure of being entertained and welcomed by his family on many occasions through the years . It was always a pleasure to welcome him and his wife into my homes over the years . Lately Dee has been the victim of Cancer so their retirement in Scone has not been as happy as they could have wished . Those remembering the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games will recall the Quarter Horses which Brian together with his committee were responsible for supplying . Somewhere in my Computer photo records I have kept copies of that event and having turned over every stone I am still unable to locate them to liven up this post .

Brian like myself has made investments for retirement that failed to return the success that was hoped for . In the mid seventies he worked as Chairman for the Liberal Premier of New South Wales and would occasionally get the “ nod ” from mates about Shares that were likely to go for a run . Most likely whoever was passing the info had already taken a position and left the “ herd ” to make them richer ! From these flutters I got the “ Share trading Bug ” for a decade or so and did quite well as the market moved higher but I guess in the long term I could have been much wiser to follow other investment avenues and opportunities .

Looking back over the years I recall many people that I wish I was still in touch with , but when Guys marry you are dealing with a new situation , and the new partnership comes first , which can mean that those friends that you enjoyed being “ Jack the Lad ” with , will not risk trawling over memories of “ Single life in the City ” . The Sixties had a certain reputation and Sydney , Melbourne and Perth were right up there as places to be single . Recent times I tried renewing contact with a fellow socialiser from the mid 60’s , now a retired solicitor that had just returned from a European trip . So far he has not found the time to put me in touch with the other member of our occasional Friday night social group of those times . The Peter G. I was seeking out was a barrister not the Doctor recently honoured in Oz .

Not being interested in Cycling or Cycle Races until 1998 meant that most of my time in Oz was such that living in the shadow of Camperdown Velodrome for several years , I was unaware of the Sport and those participating . Occasionally people say to me “ you must know…” and regrettably unless I have met them here in Europe I am at a loss as to their input to the cycling world .

Having stated a desire to ride Perth to Sydney and thence Adelaide for the Tour Down Under should I find the backing , I am yet to hear from anyone offering any kind of encouragement or even support . I have most of the equipment and the fitness level needed but financially the project would require support and would attract huge publicity for the Organisation being promoted . Whilst in Oz I was always happy to help fundraising for Legacy and enjoyed some success whilst working for NCR but that is a story for another time .

Friday, October 7, 2011


“ Bull in CHINA ” shop , causing more controversy by forgetting he signed correspondence and his spokesman “ mis-spoke ” when saying there was no such letter/s ?

Don’t think so ! Whilst Deignan comes second to Nicholas Roche in stage 3 of the Tour of Beijing , the “ Trick Cyclist ( denied his Olympic ride by appearing in South Africa under an assumed name ) ” is grabbing all the headlines with a letter that must have caused ALL the Pro Team Management Angst .

When Cycling news.Com and published their articles they were in denial that such behaviour could be allowed by the UCI let alone be published !

Threatening reprisals at the end of 2011 on Teams that did not choose to participate in the “ Tour of Beijing ” with a review of their “ Status ” for 2012 was not only STUPID but contravenes the “ Rules and Regulations ” that the UCI pretends to operate under .

Seems to me that there are going to be more than Stapleton’s HTC team having difficulty finding “ Main Sponsors ” in future years !

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Starting my 67th year I am aware of my continuing “ Good health ” and today’s sunny weather allowed me to do some riding that people half or a quarter of my age would find difficult ! It was a bright sunny morning once again and so it was easy to decide on a “ Double Wouter ” which you can read about on “ Skippi-cyclist ” blog ! Lunch and a sleep in the sun set me up for some more riding in the afternoon particularly since Friday is forecast as “ wintery weather “, not really surprising after two and a half weeks of 25+c sunshine in October .

This evening I turned on Facebook to find a plethora of “ Good Wishes ” from the friends that have been developed in recent times ! Apologies to all for not answering people individually since I would be repeating myself constantly . Seems there are many out there who notice people’s birthdays but skim requests for assistance in getting out the message to help others . During June I asked for help to give Tyres to “ Para Athletes ” and got a handful of “ Views ” of the post . In August I Asked the 700+ friends to take a look and tell me what I should do to make the effort work and about 2% took a look . Not encouraging particularly when I then requested a “ Hand Biker ” to take a look and I am still awaiting his reply . Well Mark if you won’t help your colleagues who am I to tell you that I feel let down .

15 seasons of trying to help “ Adaptive / Physically Challenged /Para Athletes “ and I can’t get help to give away expensive tyres ? Seems like I am trying to help the wrong people ?

Well Fatty finally revealed the extent of the injuries suffered by the Guide on his French Trip but a commenter advised he is now at home in California making progress in his recovery . The ride revealed in this blog was one that I had done several times in recent years and I can tell you that going to Alp d’Huez without making this climb is a wasted opportunity .

Hearing that the “ End to End Tandem ride ” in the UK last weekend failing to complete the task was disappointing as it seemed they would break the record until the last stage . This and other events have had me thinking about trying to find HELP to make the ride from Perth to Sydney and then around the Coast to the “ Tour Down Under ” later this year .

Financially impossible without Air Travel and some of the expenses covered but with HELP from others I could do the physical effort and would enjoy riding with a “ Para Athlete ” or other motivated people . Where I could do the trip “ roughing it ” I imagine that others being on the trip would require a Motor Home at the very least !

Good Wishes are appreciated BUT posting this story to your FACEBOOK WALL will catch the attention of many others and perhaps there are those out there who would be interested to email me on

and discuss the opportunities that might arise !


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nationwide costs more than my food !

Tour de France costs me very little for food each July but Nationwide Building Society bank fees during July 2011 were landed in my August 2011 bank statement and ate 65pounds of my money ! So i started with a debit in August 2011 and again in September 2011 !During the whole of the TDF i cooked for myself and thus had a very simple and cheap menu . Of course i have not seen September`s charges and no doubt that there will be additional added for October`s Debit start !

Guess why i support " OccupyWallStreet " !

Of course there is the " Banking Ombudsman " which Nationwide refers you to constantly if you complain , but that takes time meanwhile you finish up with lousy service and acrimonious relations with a service that dates back to the 1980`s ! How can you feel happy about dealing with "greedy bankers" in 2011 when you were a shareholder of the same institution you held in high regard in the 1980`s ?

Having said this i am holding back on publishing the statements because i HOPE that there are people working for thios institution who will realise that in not updating my address as requested in June when i visited the Crofts branch i have not seen the July, August and September Statements until they were scanned to me from the UK last night !

Banking is now becoming a hazardous matter , keeping money under the mattress is becoming a cheaper and safer alternative ! When Nationwide personnel read this Blog Post they can refund the charges and i will not have to find a way to send money to the account from Austria OR they can do an " Ostrich" and cause me further difficulties which will mean that i will no longer be able to bank with them and thus not be able to continue with any of the charity work which i have been involved with this past 15 seasons !

Never thought i would reach the point where in putting 300 pounds in my account would enrich the bank rather than meet the bills i created .

I guess it is their choice ?